Even as the Kochi Corporation has launched a hunt for the “missing” 41 autorickshaws, the whereabouts of the vehicles are unknown to most of the Corporation councillors, the beneficiaries of the facility.
It was during the term of the previous corporation council that three- and four-wheelers were distributed to the divisions for segregated collection and transportation of biodegradable waste from the divisions to the sewage treatment plant at Brahmapuram. It was revealed at a raid by the Vigilance and Anti-Corruption Bureau at the office of the local body that no information on vehicles was available there.
Kochi Mayor Tony Chammany has asked T.K. Ashraf, the chairman of the Health Standing Committee of the local body, to collect information on the vehicles.
The Health Officer of the corporation would soon submit a report on the vehicles, Mr. Chammany said.
A random inquiry among the councillors of the previous regime, who had utilised the facility, revealed that most them had no idea about the vehicles. Vehicles were despatched to the divisions of councillors, including then Mayor Mercy Williams and Deputy Mayor C.K. Manisankar. While two vehicles each were deployed in the divisions of some councillors, three vehicles were assigned to the division represented by a chairman of a Standing Committee.
When contacted, Mr. Manisankar said he was not involved in the use of vehicles. It was the Health officials of the local body who had managed the vehicles with the support of Residents’ Associations, he said.
David Parambithara and K.V.P. Krishna Kumar, two former Congress Councillors, too said that the details of the vehicles should be sought from the Health officials. While Mr. Krishna Kumar admitted that the two vehicles allotted to his division were not seen to be operating, Mr. Parambithara said he was not involved in the operation of the vehicles.
Leno Jacob said he was not sure whether vehicles were allotted to his division though the records available with the local body indicated that two were send to his division.
K.J. Antony, a CPI (M) councillor who represented the Nazareth division, too had no idea about the vehicles though he remembered that they were in operation for nearly two years.
K.V. Manoj, another CPI (M) councillor who represented the Kaloor South Division last time, said the vehicles were still in use in the division.